It’s Monday again and instead of feeling energized and getting ready to face the work week, why is it that most people hate going back to their respective workplaces?
It’s Monday again and instead of feeling energized and getting ready to face the work week, why is it that most people hate going back to their respective workplaces?
Yoga and meditation may not be the first thing that will come to mind when you imagine ways to become a good leader. One may think that these practices are not utilized in relating to other people; instead, they are used for purely personal relaxation and inner reflection. However, yoga and meditation were found out to be a beneficial practice especially in terms of relating with others; thus, it can be both useful in attaining personal needs and enhancing one’s abilities as an effective leader. As Dana Anderson, LPC, wrote in her article, “Mindfulness helps people develop the capacity to handle what life throws at them and creates emotional resilience.”
The following are the reasons why yoga and meditation can help develop excellent leadership skills.
Research suggests that the more you practice meditation, your capacity to understand and absorb information, adaptability to any situation in your life, and remembering a series of events is improved. The reason for this is that meditation is a form of exercise for our brain. It is not just one of the best brain exercise but the very best training for our brain.
The pressure our job gives can be endless and exhausting. Some even think about how they will stand out from their colleagues, what risks should they take, or how they should deal with evil bosses. In short, every employee has their fair share of agony in the workplace, and all of them might not bode well for their performance.
In this case, meditation might be the best thing to offer your subordinates or colleagues. It is a technique to clear the mind and radiate positivity. Continuous meditation can improve many aspects of your life, and one of those areas includes your productivity at work.
Richard Chambers, a clinical psychologist, states, “With life speeding up and getting busier, we are bombarded with countless distractions, including of course digital technology. These things encourage distractibility and reactivity, leading to stress and impaired performance. Mindfulness offers us simple, practical ways to stay focused on what is important, reduce stress and improve our performance at whatever we do.”
Top Benefits Meditation Brings To Workplace
Most of us are stuck behind our desks or in conference rooms for most of our day. Thus, having a short routine that helps you refresh your mind and attention can be beneficial.
Sometimes, a company’s employee of the month is also the one who feels tired and exhausted. They can be super productive at first, but it can change for some time if they don’t get the rest they need.
If you like your employees happy and healthy, always encourage them to take a break, relax, and breathe. For Robert Poynter, LPC, “Mindfulness is about being fully aware of whatever is happening in the moment. It is a moment-to-moment awareness where time slows down where you can actually focus on the task or situation that is present. Through mindfulness meditation, you are trying to achieve a mind that is stable and calm, and with practice, you will be developing and strengthening your mind in becoming calm without struggling.”
They don’t need to have special meditation techniques. A 5- to 10-minute meditation can work wonders.
In line with the first benefit, employees who feel better and happier tend to do their jobs more productively and effectively. A study also shows that employees who meditate can stay focused for a longer time and are less prone to any distraction. With this, meditation also helps in multitasking.
A person with a clear train of thought expresses clear messages. Coherent and concise communication between an employee and a manager is crucial to achieving a smooth-running and complication-free business operation.
With clear communication, employees can understand instructions faster, fix issues or problems immediately, and relay information much more quickly. Meditation helps a person to relax and clear their mind, and it brings a lot of benefits in the workplace.
Companies that offer meditation or wellness programs for their employees show they care about everyone’s emotional and mental health. From this, managers can gain their employee’s trust and loyalty. Loyal employees stick with a company for an extended period.
Simple Ways To Meditate At Work
Meditation does not always require applications or types of equipment. You can follow these simple steps to achieve relaxation and clarity.
Meditation Apps You Must Try
We have gathered the best apps for meditation with the best quality, reliability, and great reviews.
Employers should give their workers a chance to start meditating. They will appreciate you for inspiring them to pursue happiness in this fast-paced world.
“Contrary to what many people believe, having a mindfulness meditation practice is not just for the most spiritual, disciplined, or mentally focused among us. It doesn’t require a magical (some might say impossible) ability to clear your mind and keep it that way for hours on end. You don’t need to be a master yogi or even own a yoga mat. Mindfulness is not just for others—it’s for me, and it’s for you, too! – Caroline Sweatt-Eldredge, LPC.
Busy people, most notably students, employees, and businessmen, are often deprived of time. Even a short activity outside of work or school during the weekday is impossible.
Meditation is possibly one of the most effective ways to quickly reduce body tension and mental stress. However, this does not mean that one should enroll in formal meditation classes to avail of its benefits.
Anyone can do this in the comfort of their homes. Sometimes, the best time to do it is right before you sleep.
Meditation is a simple practice available to all, which can reduce stress, increase calmness and clarity and promote happiness. Learning how to meditate is straightforward, and the benefits can come quickly. Take a deep breath and get ready to relax.” – Aaron E. Kaplan, PsyD.
Here are some ways you can meditate even on your bed right before your usual sleeping hours.
Turn On The Music And Reflect
Look for relaxing instrumentals that you can play while you do this quick meditation. All you need to have are a phone, speakers, and a dimmed room.
Check the room’s temperature and start playing the music softly. Find a suitable spot to do the Indian pose, close your eyes, and steady your breathing. You can ask yourselves questions to ponder on. You can also talk to yourself. Remember: this is about getting to know your inner self.
This activity can only take 5 minutes of your time. First-timers can even feel their intense emotions lower down a bit after the exercise. Don’t worry because the benefits of meditation will compound as you go on.
Listen To Guided Meditation
If you are too tired to think about the steps of meditation consciously, you can always resort to a guided one from the Internet. Video-hosting sites (such as YouTube) offer free audio guides for you to follow. Dr. Albina Tamalonis, PsyD, is an expert in guided meditation. She writes in one of her articles, “In what I call active guided meditation, the guided meditation evolves into a more complex and personalized trance. From my long experience with trance work, I have found that it is very important that the person is stimulated to action beyond the guided meditation. I guide you into a meditative state with a myriad of methods where you’re able to slow your mind down, focus inward on your thoughts and feelings, relax your body, and accept individually tailored ideas to help you.”
Looking for audio meditation is easy because you will feel that an expert is telling you what to do and what to think of. Most of these instructional audios also play soothing background music and soft sound effects. You can find guided meditation audio with background sound effects of sea waves, the rustling of the leaves, or even the sound of falling rain.
Read Instructional Materials Provided On The Internet
The Web is full of instructional materials that professionals themselves crafted for the benefit of the users. You can peruse these step-by-step resources if you want to make sure that the meditation you are about to do is right for you.
Note that meditation, regardless of how long you are doing it, usually brings benefits which can be equated to a full-blown vacation getaway if correctly done over time. Your goal is to figure out the part of the body where you are most tense. Then communicate with your mind, identify your feelings, and let go of the intense emotions. Try visualizing a large box where you can put all your feelings. It might be symbolic, but it can be a useful relaxation hack.
Formal meditation practices are not always possible for people whose schedule is often jam-packed. Meditation is also definitely not a fancy thing that only the privileged people can avail of. When you have practiced a lot of times, meditation can be a natural cure for stress and anxiety. Starting tonight, before bedtime, is an excellent beginning.
“When we are engaged in meditation or self-reflection, the object of our observation is the self. What you will see within yourself depends on how you look. The attitude and state of mind that you bring with you into your mindfulness meditation practice directly affects the degree to which you will benefit.” – Laura K. Schenck, LPC.
There are times that we feel all alone as if the world has turned its back on us, times that we could no longer see the path of success and development. Having these feelings is genuinely saddening that we tend to become depressed. An outpouring of negative thoughts continues to take in. Our ability to think with reasoning becomes paralyzed, our mind becomes preoccupied with unwanted and unimportant things that are causing anxiety to occur and lose our focus at the end. This is how our mind becomes distressed when there are some issues in life that we did not see coming thus making us blinded by negative thoughts. Dealing with this kind of emotional struggle is genuinely a difficult one. Our focus becomes distracted during this trying time; hence, it is difficult for us to identify what should come first because of so many things that have filled our mind.
Randy Withers, LPC, once wrote in his blog, “Many people experience symptoms of depression at some point in their lives, but the difference between feeling a little depressed and having major depression is the difference between a firecracker and a nuclear bomb.”
Yoga has evolved since it began in ancient times. In this modern-day, there are more than 20 forms of yoga invented for everyone. But here are the eight basic types of yoga to make it easier for you to determine which is the one for you.
Hatha yoga is known as a basic introduction to yoga. It features slow and gentle poses focused on breathing and relaxation. If you are a beginner looking where to start or you just prefer a more relaxed yoga session, this is perfect for you. It is not the most strenuous of yoga forms, but it will leave you with a relaxed body and a clear mind.
In an article written by Deborah Koshaba, PsyD, she stated, “There is a growing body of research to back up yoga’s mental health benefits. Yoga increases body awareness, relieves stress, reduces muscle tension, strain, and inflammation, sharpens attention and concentration, and calms and centers the nervous system.”
Vinyasa yoga comprises of connected movements and poses, followed by synchronized breathing. It is meant to be fluid and energetic. Upbeat music will be played to accompany this dance-like yoga. You will transition from one pose to another and learn how to link your breathing with movement. If you want a dynamic form of yoga, this is the one for you.
Similar to Vinyasa, this type of yoga also encourages you to synchronize breathing with movement. However, Ashtanga yoga has a more traditional approach. Classes are usually silent. Moreover, the sequence of the poses, from start to end, is always the same. Ashtanga yoga is for those who are familiar with fast-paced, vigorous workouts.
“The practice of ashtanga yoga,” wrote Tracy Ochester, PsyD, “asks much of its devotees. In response, we develop “grit”, a quality of determination and perseverance fueled by a deep passion for the practice and its effects. Ashtanga practitioners quickly discover that our behavior in everyday life impacts our practice.”
A guarantee of this type of yoga is you will sweat a lot. Bikram yoga classes are in artificially heated rooms, where the temperature can go up from 95 to 108°F. This temperature can aid you in doing flexible poses. It also encourages you to sweat, which expels toxins from your body. If you are up for a good workout that can detoxify your body and mind, Bikram yoga might be fit for you.
Iyengar yoga is all about the details. The focus of this yoga type is on precision, alignment, and breathing technique. Yoga props will also be involved. These props serve to improve posture and reduce the risk of injury.
Classes are usually held at a slow pace, allowing the students to learn the poses at their own pace. Iyengar yoga is suitable for people with an injury, chronic condition, or under rehabilitation.
Known as one of the oldest forms of yoga, Kundalini is for your inner energy. Movement and breathing are linked together with meditation and chanting. This form of yoga is designed to tap into your seven chakras. It starts from the base of your spine to the rest of your body. It also awakens your creative energy. For those seeking tranquility within the body and mind, Kundalini yoga is for you.
Jivamukti is a combination of Vinyasa-style movements and Sanskrit teachings. The theme of the classes changes every week. After the lessons, you will leave with new knowledge about yoga. If you are into physical fitness, meditation, and learning, this is the type of yoga for you.
“…”Many of the trainees in our teacher-training program brought Restorative Yoga into their
psychotherapy sessions, with tremendous results. Several psychotherapists contacted me to say that the fifteen minutes in which they did restorative poses without processing was incredibly powerful, but in a way that differed distinctly from the verbal breakthroughs they experienced.” – Bo Forbes, PsyD.
This type of yoga is the best recommendation for those who want to relax amid their busy lives. Also known as Yin yoga, it is slow-paced and meditative. It is done with props to help in holding the poses. Restorative yoga can help you in letting go of stress after a long day.
Starting on yoga might be confusing at first. But remember that it’s best to go back to the basics and pick the routine that suits your lifestyle.
“Spoiler alert: In marriage, there are other parts too: closeness brings about disagreements and arguments. It is inevitable; it is part of the deal and peculiarly necessary (arguments lead us to the reason we picked our partners, mastering how to repair them heals us.” – Yamel Corcoll-Iglesias, LMFT.
Marriage is a unification of two different people committed to becoming one; similar to the Yin and the Yang, two different energy combined creating harmony within. There comes a time that the peace will be disrupted by unforeseeable circumstances, and this is the time that the Yin and the Yang must maintain their balance to keep the harmony. (more…)
When we hear the word “yoga,” we immediately think of a room filled with silence and serenity. Above all, we expect calmness, deep breaths, and intense meditation.
What if we told you there is an alternative to the typical yoga that involves laughing? Yes, laughter yoga exists, and it provides several mental and physical benefits too!
What Is Laughter Yoga
We all know how to laugh, and laughter is the best medicine. Well, laughter yoga is what you imagine it to be. It’s a room filled with people chuckling their hearts out.
Compared to other meditation styles, laughter yoga is a relatively new idea that focuses on the mind and body stimulation. It uses different laughter exercises coupled with some breathing techniques. With this combination, laughter yoga slowly teaches the body how to laugh even without any humor involved. Because of this technique, laughter yoga can benefit your immune system as well. How? Read on.
The Connection Between Laughter And Our Immune System
Our immune system relies on a highly efficient cleaning system within our body, called the lymphatic system. It is an intricate network made up of thin vessels. It is responsible for collecting waste materials our body contains. Then, it gets rid of the waste products through the spaces between cells. However, the process is much more complicated than this.
Now, what does laughter have to do with this system?
The lymphatic system doesn’t require any pumps to transport fluids, unlike our circulatory system. It always moves toward our hearts using inertia. However, we can also move it manually, and this is where laughter comes in.
Research shows that laughing can mimic the ideal diaphragmatic breathing. It makes a negative pressure intense enough to speed up the flow of lymphatic fluid by about 15 times the average flow rate. A faster flow of lymphatic fluid results in an increased number of lymphocytes. Consequently, increased lymphocytes in our blood system lead to better immunity for any disease.
Psychologist Annette Goodheart also explains, “Essentially, when we laugh, the body releases a ton of neurotransmitters and chemicals that stimulate our brain and immune systems. The sympathetic nervous system, too, is deadened, meaning we actually do get healthier. Natural endorphins are released, automatically relieving pain; beta-endorphins are a particular hormone involved in reducing pain levels.”
Stimulation of the lymphatic fluid happens through any muscular movement. But laughter still proves to be one of the best ways to achieve this. Plus, it also offers the least pain and the most enjoyment.
But aside from improving our immune system, laughter yoga can even help with our overall wellness. Laughing can engage our parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the “happy hormones” we feel when we laugh. Once it is released, our stress level also goes down. A decrease in stress levels means that our body can resist bacterial infections better. With that also comes increased energy levels and an overall improved emotional state.
“Laughter yoga,” wrote Elizabeth Venart, LPC, “is a fun and uplifting wellness routine that combines playful laughter exercises with deep yoga breathing. The proven health benefits of laughter include reducing stress, improving mood, increasing cardiovascular health, and immune system functioning, providing pain relief, and helping people feel more relaxed.”
People who have religiously committed to laughter yoga find that their resistance to colds and viruses has significantly increased. Those who are previously prone to asthma have found that laughter yoga has helped improve their breathing capacity. You will enjoy the benefits of engaging in other physical activities without worrying about the shortness of breath or wheezing.
Laughter yoga has several benefits both to our mental and physical health. The lowered stress level it gives us is beneficial in strengthening our body’s defense mechanism against many diseases.
According to Dr. Nalin, PsyD, “Studies have revealed laugher has a powerful influence on our immune system, boosting our cells’ defenses against infection. When we laugh, certain brain neurochemicals, such as those responsible for our mood, are elevated, helping us attain a more positive state of mind.”
Aside from its health benefits, laughter yoga gives us a new perspective on meditation. It breaks the usual notion that meditation only involves silence and calmness. Through laughing, we go beyond the boundaries of traditional meditation, which may benefit more people in the long run.